Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Do You Have the 4 Traits of a Courageous Leader?

Do You Have the 4 Traits of a Courageous Leader?

3. Great leaders also have intellectual courage.

They are not managers who simply respond to orders. They are men and women who challenge conventional wisdom, who think beyond “the way we’ve always done it,” and who set aside time to imagine new possibilities. They are great thinkers who act on their newly found knowledge.

4. Finally, those who lead with courage have execution courage.

These leaders act quickly and decisively. They don’t wait until they get 100 percent of the facts before they take action. They are not reckless or irresponsible; they simply understand that indecisiveness can paralyze and demoralize an organization. Timidity leads to mediocrity.

Good News/Bad News 

The bad news is that relatively few leaders demonstrate courageous leadership. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that relatively few leaders demonstrate all four aspects of courageous leadership.

The good news is that much of courageous leadership can be learned. But becoming a courageous leader demands a willingness to put others first, to make tough decisions that are often personally costly, and to have the willingness to take reasonable risks.

Most leaders understand these choices. Fewer are willing to make such choices. But those who do can lead organizations to greater health and, for many, change the world for good.  

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Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.